The whole idea that process improvement efforts are harmful to innovation frustrates me. It is due to misunderstanding what is labeled as process improvement. Lean isn't about just making whatever process exists less wasteful. Lean focuses on value added to customers but people forget that.
Yes a think tank or research lab would not be served well by the same types of processes as a fast food restaurant. And a fast food restaurant wouldn't be served by the type of process improvement that would benefits a research lab.
continue reading: Lean v Innovation is a False Dichotomy